5 Reasons Dogs Hump That Have Nothing To Do With S-E-X

Written by: Brandon Rhoads

January 15, 2015

***Note: If there are any tiny hoomans looking over your shoulder—especially ones who haven’t yet learned about the birds and the bees—this material might be too mature. But if you’re a full grown hooman then you’ll find it delightfully immature!***

Many dog lovers probably never bother to question their pup’s motivation for humping things, since the explanation seems self-evident to anyone who’s ever attended a high school health class.


But the research suggests humping rarely has anything to do with sex, a fact which makes the photo below scientifically erroneous and wildly inappropriate.


So, since we’ve decided to be mature about this, we did a little research. Let’s explore the true nature of dog humps, shall we?

1. Excitement

This can mean the kind of excitement you’re thinking of, but it also means literal excitement.

Does your dog perk up at the prospect of a car ride? Maybe you have a friend your dog loves to see. In these cases, when your dog humps something it’s the equivalent of cheering for a good show or showing approval.

“I LOVE MILK!!!!!!!!”


2. Anxiety

When your dog gets nervous about something–like the possibility of being left alone–they might not know how to respond.

“How dare you leave me alone with your pillow!”


As a result of the anxiety (caused by, say, a TV appearance) the dog may hump something as a default behavior.

“Sorry, this is my first time on camera.”


In other words, when all else fails, dogs hump.

“I just get so nervous around the stairs.”


3. Play

Humping other dogs can just be a way of getting their attention to make new friends.

“Oh Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey…”


Some dogs may engage in humping to demonstrate approval. So humping can just be a way of saying…

“I like you. Can we be friends?”


4. Comfort

Humping is a familiar activity for dogs that may relieve stress. It’s the dog equivalent of thumb-sucking in this sense. Dogs may do it just to unwind or kill time.

“Don’t mind me, I’m just getting ready for bed.”


5. Dominance

But for all the varied reasons, your dog could also just be throwing around alpha mutt tendencies to assert dominance. So yeah, humping may just be your dog’s way of saying…

“I’m your daddy!”


6. But sometimes, let’s be honest…it may be all about the ruvin’.

via Huffington Post

As you can see, dogs hump for many and varied reasons. If it’s a problem, make sure to consult a vet or a professional dog trainer to get at the root of the behavior!

h/t to Buzz Hoot Roar

Featured image via DogShaming

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Written by: Brandon Rhoads

January 15, 2015

Nutritionist-crafted food for your dog's breed or mix.

Recipes designed for dogs' individuality



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.